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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Opposition slams tax cut, BJP calls it ‘revolutionary’ step

The Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) alleged that the government move, which cheered the stock market, has been dictated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “HowdyModi” event in Houston, in the United States this month where he will interact with the Indian diaspora.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2019 01:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Youth Congress supporters protesting outside Finance Minister Nimala Sitharaman’s residence against the economic slowdown and high rates of unemployment are met with security personnel in New Delhi.
Youth Congress supporters protesting outside Finance Minister Nimala Sitharaman’s residence against the economic slowdown and high rates of unemployment are met with security personnel in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
         

The Opposition on Friday slammed finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of corporate tax cuts that will lead to a sacrifice of Rs. 1.4 lakh crore in government revenue, with the Congress claiming that “constant roll-backs” were unlikely to revive investment and will only cause the economic situation to worsen.

The Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) alleged that the government move, which cheered the stock market, has been dictated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “HowdyModi” event in Houston, in the United States this month where he will interact with the Indian diaspora.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Amazing what PM is ready to do for a stock market bump during his Howdy Indian Economy jamboree. At + 1.4 Lakh Crore Rs. the Houston event is the world’s most expensive event, ever! But, no event can hide the reality of the economic mess ‘HowdyModi’ has driven India into.”

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Announcement timed for proposed spectacle of “Howdy Modi” in the US? Massive concessions to foreign speculators.”

In a statement, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government had turned out to be an economic and political disaster for India.

“The looming economic crisis is fast turning into ‘BJP-Made Economic Anarchy’,” he alleged.

Surjewala said finance minister Sitharaman and her colleagues were bereft of ideas to revive the “ailing” economy. “Economic mismanagement, herculean blunders and daily bloopers have caused a shadow upon the economic stability and direction of the country,” he added.

Not everyone was as critical.

The Congress’s Jairam Ramesh welcomed the reduction in corporate tax rates, but expressed doubts whether the step would revive investment. Asked whether it was the Prime Minister’s “trump card”, he said the government’s move did nothing to dispel the fear that pervades India Inc.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, cheered the government’s move to slash corporate rate tax to lift economic growth, describing it as a “revolutionary boost” that will make the Indian market “much more exciting” for investors.

“Modi government is committed to making India a big manufacturing hub and this decision along with previous announcements on relaxing FDI {foreign direct investment} will go a long way in realising this objective,” BJP president Amit Shah, also Union home minister, tweeted, calling it a bold move. Shah also said the move will make Indian firms globally competitive.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sitharaman, the party’s working president J P Nadda said the announcement made by her will deliver a “revolutionary boost in promoting investment”.

“When the going gets tough the tough gets going. Ma’am Nirmala Sitharaman, you proved it today,” BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh said. BJP ally and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan called the measure “historic”.

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 23:45 IST

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